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APG system

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The APG system (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system) of plant classification is the first version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy. Published in 1998 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, it was replaced by the improved APG II in 2003, APG III system in 2009 and APG IV system in 2016.



The original APG system is unusual in being based, not on total evidence, but on the cladistic analysis of the DNA sequences of three genes, two chloroplast genes and one gene coding for ribosomes. Although based on molecular evidence only, its constituent groups prove to be supported by other evidence as well, for example pollen morphology supports the split between the eudicots and the rest of the former dicotyledons.

The system is rather controversial in its decisions at the family level, splitting a number of long-established families and submerging some other families. It also is unusual in not using botanical names above the level of order, that is, an order is the highest rank that will have a formal botanical name in this system. Higher groups are defined only as clades, with names such as monocots, eudicots, rosids, asterids.

The APG system was superseded in 2003 by a revision, the APG II system, and then in 2009 by a further revision, the APG III system.


The main groups in the system (all unranked clades) are:

  • angiosperms :monocotscommelinoidseudicotscore eudicotsrosidseurosids Ieurosids IIasteridseuasterids Ieuasterids II
  • Representation in color

    The APG system recognises 462 families and 40 orders: these are assigned as follows. In the beginning of each listing some families or orders that are not placed in a further clade:

  • clade angiospermsclade monocotsclade commelinoidsclade eudicotsclade core eudicotsclade rosidsclade eurosids Iclade eurosids IIclade asteridsclade euasterids Iclade euasterids II
  • Note: "+ ..." = optional seggregrate family, that may be split off from the preceding family.

  • Families of uncertain position
  • References

    APG system Wikipedia

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